5 Best Friday Columns

Catholicism, insulting Britain, and California saving the world

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  • Peggy Noonan on the Catholic Church  "The church," writes the Wall Street Journal columnist, "shouldn't be saying j'accuse [to the media] but thank you." There are three great groups of victims here, she argues: the abused, the innocent priests and nuns, and "the Catholics in the pews." They were betrayed by both individuals and a phenomenon, which Noonan compares to what happened with risky traders on Wall Street:
There is an interesting and very modern thing that often happens when individuals join and rise within mighty and venerable institutions. They come to think of the institution as invulnerable--to think that there is nothing they can do to really damage it, that the big, strong, proud establishment they're part of can take any amount of abuse, that it doesn't require from its members an attitude of protectiveness because it's so strong, and has lasted so long.
  • Charles Krauthammer on the New Chill in U.S.-U.K. Relations  "It's not just the personal slights to Prime Minister Gordon Brown--the ridiculous 25-DVD gift, the five refusals before Brown was granted a one-on-one with The One," protests the Washington Post columnist, who proceeds to chronicle other insults to "our most venerable, most reliable ally." He ends with a question: "How can you explain a policy toward Britain that makes no strategic or moral sense?"
  • Paul Krugman's Guide to Financial Reform  The liberal economist today discards the shrillness some of his critics abhor in him, and takes time to explain precisely where he stands on financial reform and why. He doesn't think breaking up banks will work, and instead favors "old-fashioned bank regulation."
  • Lola Adesioye on Financial Illiteracy and Student Loan Reform  Writing in the Guardian, Adesioye talks of the "gaping wound" of "financial illiteracy" that spans the Atlantic--her generation and younger ones just don't understand money. She says the new American legislation "is like putting a sticking plaster" on the injury: "it matters little whether or not there are lower interest rates if one does not know how to manage one's money or make beneficial financial decisions in the first place."
  • Dan Becker and James Gerstenzang on California and Fuel Efficiency  The Safe Climate Campaign leaders praise the EPA's and National  Highway Traffic Safety Administration's new rules requiring greater fuel efficiency in new cars, pointing out t hat California led the way, "enacting its own emissions law in 2002 under the federal Clean Air Act." But now, they say--with the mission as urgent as ever--"it is time for California to show the way again ...it is time to start working on rules that would phase in from 2017 to 2025," beginning to shift "to electric cars, or even fuel cells."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.